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Fine Reading: The Second Skin – Ecological Role Of Epibiotic Biofilms On Marine Organisms

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In contrast to air, the ocean represents a benign environment for most living organisms: With the exception of some harsh marine environments, the means of physicochemical properties are generally not far off the optimum of most species and their fluctuations are moderate, rarely exceeding biological tolerance limits. So begins a review by Wahl and colleagues on the virtues of marine waters as a habitat. I can’t say that I had given this much thought. Anticipating interesting insights, I read on: As a consequence, insulating coatings of the epidermis such as hair, feathers, wax are not required in the marine realm. No big surprises there, but the implications of it, as explored by these authors, are vast and far-reaching.

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